The first edition of What’s Trending? delivers the news you need to know, on a weekly basis across African culture and lifestyle. Every Friday we’ll aim to keep you in the loop so you never miss a beat on the best events and other goodies.
What’s Coming Up?
This week, What’s on Africa are really excited about the British Library’s February events, featuring Professor Wole Soyinka and the FOKN Bois.
The Award-winning duo, FOKN Bois, popularly known for thanking God they are not “a Nigerians” are a celebrated Ghanaian music due to their unconventional way of entertaining revolutionary performance and progressive sounds. They will be accompanied by Yaaba Funk as part of Late at the Library: Ghana Beats on February 12th.
Nobel Prize for Literature winner Wole Soyinka returns to the British Library on February 15th where he’ll participate in what is sure to be insightful conversation with the award – winning writer Olusola Oyeleye. We’re looking forward to what the acclaimed Nigerian playwright, poet and novelist has to say.
So what was a big deal for us this? First on our list:
Angry Ghanaian letter to Spanish Embassy
A prominent Ghanaian surgeon was recently denied a visa to go to Spain to present papers at a medical conference. His response to the visa denial was in the form of an open letter to the Deputy Head of Mission (DHM) of the Embassy of Spain, copied to the Spanish Ambassador, angrily denouncing the DHM and generally making demeaning statements about Spain. The letter generated almost unanimous comments in support of the doctor. A view common to the comments was that the denial was most likely a racist act or showed disrespect for Africans as a whole. Have a read below or click here.
— Samira Sawlani (@samirasawlani) August 3, 2015
David Oyelowo and Idris Elba speak out against this year’s Oscars
— Idris Elba (@idriselba) January 18, 2016
Monday saw the celebration of Martin Luther King Jr Day. A few days earlier, an all white list of Oscar Nominations were announced, spurring many actors to speak out against the lack of consistent lack of representation of black actors and actresses in Hollywood. Among Jada Pinkett – Smith and Spike Lee, David Oyelowo and Idris Elba added to the sea of criticism. Oyelowo stated;
“For 20 opportunities to celebrate actors of color, actresses of color, to be missed last year is one thing; for that to happen again this year is unforgivable.”
Elba highlighted the lack of representation he has experienced in the British Film Industry. The Beasts of No Nation star missed out on a nomination this year whilst Oyelowo was famously overlooked for playing Dr. MLK Jr in Selma.
Read more about what they had to say here.
Also, respected Ethiopian film-maker Haile Gerima says we should be building alternatives to the Oscars.
Read her comments here.
Insert Picture of Davido/Tweet
This happened a while ago…but…Davido, one of Nigeria’s most successful pop stars is presently involved in a feud over the custody of their child, with the mother of his baby, Sophie. The story went public recently and has taken various shapes, starting from the airport incident to the petition written against Davido by Sophie to Davido’s lengthy open letter on twitter. The issue is on everyone’s lips as to who will be put in care of the child.
Davido recently signed up with Sony International, which should help with any money worries that maybe at the root of his child custody drama.
Read more about it here.
On a more serious note, we hear Nigeria is taking action against Lassa Fever
Nigeria’s The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has mapped out plans to curtail the spread of Lassa Fever in the country.Dr Hadiza Balarabe, the Director, Public Health Department of the FCTA Health Secretariat, made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday in Abuja.
Balarabe said that the secretariat had coordinated activities to promote and encourage healthy behaviour.She said that the secretariat was collaborating with the six area councils and other relevant organisations to prevent the spread of the deadly disease.
“We are strengthening all surveillance activities and executing coordinated community-wide activities to encourage healthy behavior”
On the 8th of January the Minister of Health issued a press statement detailing the implementation of preventative action against the virus, which has killed an estimated number of 70 people.
Read more about it here.
Nigerian Born England Midfielder Dele Alli signs New Tottenham deal
The start of 2016 has brought great things for football, especially for Dele Alli. The Nigerian born 19 year old has signed a new contract to keep him at Tottenham Hotspur until 2021. The midfielder has left a great impression recently scoring five goals in 18 Premier League appearances. He’s also made great waves within the England squad. Last November he scored his first international goal aiding England in beating France 2-0.
In a twitter post, Tottenham posted “We’re delighted to announce that Dele Alli has signed a new contract with the club which will run until 2021”
Netflix and Chill?
For most of last year the term “Netflix and Chill” formed a new part of the English vocabulary, and those attentive to social media undoubtedly saw the thousands of memes flying around online, displaying the cheeky subliminal meaning of the term. If you are unfamiliar with the term, think movie night with a twist. The American online movie streaming service, Netflix has officially broadened it’s horizons and the on-demand movie platform is now available across the African continent where it was previously difficult to access. Let’s hope it adds a certain spark to Saturday nights! At least one major telecommunications company is offering a data package called ‘Netflix and Chill’ to help its customers along.